Mineral-rich Jharkhand a priority for Railways: Prabhu

Ranchi (RNC): Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched three key railway projects in the state and Odisha on Sunday and pledged to weave an intricate railway network in mineral-rich Jharkhand by 2018.

Prabhu opened the 16.5km third line between Sini and Rajkharsawan under Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railway. The minister also launched four additional loop line projects (in Harubera, Barkipona, Nagjua and Urma stations) that will ease railway traffic in the busy Muri-Barkakana, Ranchi-Lohardaga and Adra-Chandil lines.

“Jharkhand with its rich mineral reserves is crucial for India’s economy. Keeping that in mind, the state’s rail network will be improved in the next three years,” Prabhu said at the ceremony. He was accompanied by chief minister Raghubar Das.

The minister also inaugurated a DEMU passenger train between Rourkela and Sambalpur in Odisha and laid the foundation of an electric loco shed in Bondamunda, both under the South Eastern Railway (SER).

Prabhu, while inaugurating an automated laundry of 1 ton capacity in Ranchi station, promised Das to look into the demand for a direct train to Mughalsarai in Bihar via Patna, a daily express between Ranchi-Trivandrum via Chennai (that in turn would help patients heading to south India for treatment) and another daily between Ranchi-Dehradun.

However, the minister granted the CM’s demand to extend the Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express up to Jaipur. “It is important to finish the long standing projects,” Das told Prabhu. Prabhu said the railways is mulling to overhaul Ranchi into a world class station under PPP mode.

Prabhu also said the railways is working to establish base kitchen in every station and commission pantry cars in long distance trains.